Personality Cafe banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I've been thinking about what it really means to be a J versus P and I am questioning more and more some of the indicators used to determine this. I am a J, and I associate my J-ness with the following mental traits: being stubborn, decisive, bossy at times, very practical at times, liking closure or completeness, perfectionism. But these usually relate to abstract or ideal actions. Growing up my room was always a wreck, covered in books and papers and posters and clothes and such. I am terrible at remembering to pay bills on time, often run the speed limit by accident because I'm not paying attention, may have my shirt on backwards all day without noticing or leave important things in my pockets, and I am the ultimate absent-minded professor, I forget and lose everything. I am nothing like how they describe a J physically to be. I think this is because my Ni is so strong that I am frequently oblivious to my physical surroundings. Shouldn't they recognize that Js can be like this? Does this happen to any of you guys too?

Conversely my ISFP fiance is really conscientious about paying bills on time, trying to stay neat, doing the dishes, etc. etc. I have had SP roommates who are real sticklers for being super-neat and tidy and knowing where things are (though my ESFP mom is a real slob). I know they are Ps though because they otherwise are so laid-back, spontaneous, flexible, open-ended, often indecisive...

Should we be judging J/P preferences based on external indicators like organization/messiness/ability to meet deadlines? Or can these external indicators be related to the S/N preference more than the J/P?
Also, how much do you think upbringing has to do with how externally neat/organized people are?

Thanks for your thoughts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
I guess I see the J/P divide related to decision making more than to neatness/tidiness. I (INTJ) like to strategize first and adjust as needed later. My INTP husband skips the pre-planning and just strategizes in real time.

To me it actually sounds like you're describing your inferior function of sensing (don't notice if shirt is backwards, run the speed limit when not paying attention, etc).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
Hi all,

I've been thinking about what it really means to be a J versus P and I am questioning more and more some of the indicators used to determine this. I am a J, and I associate my J-ness with the following mental traits: being stubborn, decisive, bossy at times, very practical at times, liking closure or completeness, perfectionism. But these usually relate to abstract or ideal actions. Growing up my room was always a wreck, covered in books and papers and posters and clothes and such. I am terrible at remembering to pay bills on time, often run the speed limit by accident because I'm not paying attention, may have my shirt on backwards all day without noticing or leave important things in my pockets, and I am the ultimate absent-minded professor, I forget and lose everything. I am nothing like how they describe a J physically to be. I think this is because my Ni is so strong that I am frequently oblivious to my physical surroundings. Shouldn't they recognize that Js can be like this? Does this happen to any of you guys too?

Conversely my ISFP fiance is really conscientious about paying bills on time, trying to stay neat, doing the dishes, etc. etc. I have had SP roommates who are real sticklers for being super-neat and tidy and knowing where things are (though my ESFP mom is a real slob). I know they are Ps though because they otherwise are so laid-back, spontaneous, flexible, open-ended, often indecisive...

Should we be judging J/P preferences based on external indicators like organization/messiness/ability to meet deadlines? Or can these external indicators be related to the S/N preference more than the J/P?
Also, how much do you think upbringing has to do with how externally neat/organized people are?

Thanks for your thoughts.
I think J is another way of say order and planning, and P is about whimsy and letting things happen. How do you prefer to operate?

For example, my apartment is an organization mess but that is because I,
#1 Hate maintaining things, including organizational systems
#2 Am trying to create a new Organizational system for it.

But in my MIND, I want it to super organized.

I think another way to look at it, when something goes wrong, do you lean towards just letting things happen OR create a plan so that it doesn't happen again.

I think everything you listed, except the clothes example are all various examples of types of order/planning versus letting things happen.

Granted people can be trained towards one or the other but it doesn't mean they prefer it naturally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,583 Posts
What J/P actually does is decide which function is extroverted and which one is introverted. Judgers extrovert their judging function (T/F), while Perceivers extrovert their perceiving function (S/N). I'm not sure how the whole organization/messiness/neatness thing ended up getting involved, but it's true for the most part.

I'm a Perceiver and I think it depends a lot on how you want things to be, not necessary what they actually are. Either that or it's to do with how comfortable you feel when decisions are made. Barely any of my friends are perceivers, but one of the ones who is shares my hatred for decisions being made for us. We feel confined and trapped, we want to decide what we're doing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
being stubborn, decisive, bossy at times, very practical at times, liking closure or completeness, perfectionism. But these usually relate to abstract or ideal actions. Growing up my room was always a wreck, covered in books and papers and posters and clothes and such. I am terrible at remembering to pay bills on time, often run the speed limit by accident because I'm not paying attention, may have my shirt on backwards all day without noticing or leave important things in my pockets, and I am the ultimate absent-minded professor, I forget and lose everything.
wow, you just described me :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,420 Posts
I'm a P, and I like the idea of tidiness, but I find it hard to mantain. I've been trying harder lately, because I've noticed when I pick up after myself and do the dishes (whether I want to or not), the J's in my family are happier with me.

As a p, I have no trouble keeping my car clean, tidy and organised, I enjoy making list, I love organisation, making plans, making lists and the idea of cleanness and tidiness, I'm just not good at doing it myself. I hate mess, but I also hate anything that feels like a chore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
616 Posts
-----I try to keep everything relatively organized save for two places: my desk and the garage (and my car). Also, I allow my computer to be disorganized. I find that allowing myself room for disorganization helps me keep most of the house organized. But I can't do it everywhere.
Should we be judging J/P preferences based on external indicators like organization/messiness/ability to meet deadlines?
-----I think they are weak indicators. MBTI estimates that there is a .65-.75 (or close to that) correlation between type description and the actual characteristics of a person typed with that description. So that means that typically someone of any type will not identify with 25-35% of the type description. However, the indicators you mention offer a starting point for people--a tangible one. That can be important. Also, it might serve as a tie-breaker.
-----With INFJs, I've heard that their/your most personal space tends to be organized and "aestheticized," even though the rest of the house may be messy. Based on the NF Meetups we've had so far, the one physical indicator that I've seen to be true is that you all dress like a million bucks. With the guys it's a little subtler. By contrast, all of us INFPs tend to dress in blue jeans (absolutely mandatory--soooooooo comfortable) and whatever T-shirt or top happens to be clean.
-----Also, the personality type of the person you are living with has a huge impact. If my wife weren't an ISTJ, I;m pretty sure things would be quite a bit messier.
Or can these external indicators be related to the S/N preference more than the J/P?
-----Interesting question! I'd like to acknowledge that you asked it, but i have no opinion on this one (yet). The only thing that I can report is that all of SJs in my family are of the opinion that the external appearance of the house and yard personally reflects on them (and they say that whether the house and yard are messy or spotless).
Also, how much do you think upbringing has to do with how externally neat/organized people are?
-----A bunch. My grandparents survived the Great Depression. As a result, they do things like saving string. Their garages are packed to the brim. My mother also passed down her materialism to me, but not in the way she intended. I used to buy things because I felt a personal connection to them. But I was able to overcome that on my own. Ultimately, I recognized that I was essentially memorializing my feelings (instead of feeling them). Accepting myself as an NF (even though I couldn't have phrased it that way at the time), allowed me to let go of that unfortunate habit.
I'm a Perceiver and I think it depends a lot on how you want things to be, not necessary what they actually are. Either that or it's to do with how comfortable you feel when decisions are made. Barely any of my friends are perceivers, but one of the ones who is shares my hatred for decisions being made for us. We feel confined and trapped, we want to decide what we're doing.
-----Insightful post. In think most Ps recognize that they need to exercise some organization. Most Ps I know struggle with that. But in our society, would people in general ever say you could be too organized? How many Js aspire to be more disorganized?
-----I think what Kitzara is offering is a possible alternative differential: "hatred for decisions being made for us." It's true that I hate that, but I tend to allow it. But wouldn't J also hate having decisions made for them? After all, aren't they the ones who supposedly want to be the ones making the decisions? But to build off Kitzara's idea, perhaps the question is, "Are you comfortable making decisions on the behalf of a group?" Or "Are you comfortable influencing the actions of others (directly or indirectly)?" But these questions probably just serve to exclude INFP and ISFP from the list of potential possibilities, as at least for INFPs, I cannot see any INFP I know saying yes to either question.
-----At the same time, the INFJs I know are very respectful of personal autonomy. They might just as easily say no to both of those questions. While INFJs might "steer" the conversation away from potential conflict, is that really influencing the actions of others in a significant way? I have not felt Fe-steamrolled by any INFJ I've met IRL. Quite the contrary--I've felt very accepted. Hopefully they don't feel Fi-steamrolled.
I'm a P, and I'm a lazy neatfreak. If my room's a mess and I'm bothered by the messiness, I will go to another room rather than actually clean my room.
But when I actually take the time to clean my room, it is usually very well cleaned/organized. And then everything falls apart in 2-3 days.
-----Oh, *shamefully admits seeing himself in that last part*.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TimeIsLove

·
Registered
INFP 4w5 sp
Joined
·
5,369 Posts
Well personally I fall into the messy P stereotype, however, I know a few Js who do not keep things neat and tidy. I think people tend to ovesimplify J and P using neatness as the number one sign, when, as you've all mentioned, there's a lot more to it. I think some Js assume they're Ps because they have messy rooms without realising the other ways they like closure and order, etc.

I like the point about S and N having a role in this. It makes perfect sense to me that Ns inattentiveness to the details of their phsyical suroundings could easily make them less bothered by or less aware of physical clutter. I know I tend to be so absorbed in thoughts that I just don't even see a lot of stuff that my SJ mom or SP husband immediately notice as being out of place. And even if I trip over it, I'm usually like 'eh...not important' and dive right back into my thoughts, whereas I get the impression that to those two Ss at least, it would be important enough to retain their attention long enough to do something about it. I can definately see how their identity seems more intermingled with their suroundings than mine is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
I'm a weak J, and I'm always late because I leave when I should be arriving, and my environment does tend to get messy. I think the difference between me and some of my more organized and punctual P friends, is that they are neat or timely for reasons other than simply desiring things to be ordered. I may be messy and late, but I hate myself for it. I can't relax if something doesn't have a "proper place." Even if non of my stuff is in place, I can rest a little easier if I know where is should go if and when I do get around to cleaning. My one P friend, her messes make my messes look organized, and she can relax just fine within it. But she's never seemed as horrified the thought of cleaning, either--maybe because she's an introvert and can expend more energy doing solitary housework?

But even though my environment tends to get messy (though in the beginning I do always try to create a system) my head is full of systems and categories and rankings (mostly of people and relationships and behaviors). I think the J / P distinction really comes down to if you see the world as inherently chaotic, and take control in your life my creating order (J) or if you perceive the world as inherently stifling and constricting, and take control in your life by breaking away from the establishment.

For example, when I was getting really stressed and dissatisfied with my three part time and felt like I was in a rut, I took agency in my life by rearranging my schedule--changing my days at one, working from home for another, and buying a new uniform for the third. When my P friend got fed up with her job she already hated, and was beginning to feel like she was in a rut, she quit her job, and is making plans to tour China, indefinitely.

It's not so much the way your inclinations manifest themselves outwardly. It's not your behaviors that give your J or P types away, but your intentions. I can spot a J a mile away because there's an intensity and a fastidiousness that I can sense, even if they look a mess and have come unprepared. I can spot a P, even if they're shoes are spit-shined and their spreadsheets are flawless, because they'll have a certain transitory air about them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,492 Posts
I'm definitely in the category of messy perceiver. When I read the description of what a perceiver does, it fit me perfectly. About the only part of the description that doesn't ring true is how flaky they say we are. I always arrive on time (or call if I'm going to be late). I always call people back when they leave a message. It really bothers me when other people don't do this. In fact, my ENTP and INFP friends are the same way but another INFP we're friends with is terrible at this. I think it partially comes from having SJ parents who pounded this in my head from an early age but I decided to take that piece of advice to heart.

Otherwise, I can't organize anything. I don't bother to fold my laundry, preferring to leave it in a pile and dig through it when I need something to wear. I eat off paper plates because I don't like doing dishes. I'm always forgetting things that I meant to bring, including really important things. I don't like it when people tell me how to organize myself. I have my own system for finding things but I couldn't explain it if someone were to ask me what it was. I'm a total mess and it really doesn't bother me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,356 Posts
I am incredibly messy, to the point where I differentiate between clean dirt (clutter, which i thrive in) and dirty dirt (which I do not tolerate).

But I am a creature of habit, so I tend to put things in the same messy places. My J husband therefore waits for me to drop stuff on the floor (like dirty clothes) then puts the hamper there. He also put a table next to the washing machine since it's where I'm most likely to drop my purse and it irritated him.

However, there is a complex method underlying it all--there are piles and they all MEAN something. I know where everything is and it's all within reach and set there to maximize efficiency. I just don't see why I should open and close a drawer 25 times an hour to get something then out it away again, if I could just make its place on top of my desk in the first place,
 

·
Registered
INFP 4w5 sp
Joined
·
5,369 Posts
I am incredibly messy, to the point where I differentiate between clean dirt (clutter, which i thrive in) and dirty dirt (which I do not tolerate).

However, there is a complex method underlying it all--there are piles and they all MEAN something. I know where everything is and it's all within reach and set there to maximize efficiency. I just don't see why I should open and close a drawer 25 times an hour to get something then out it away again, if I could just make its place on top of my desk in the first place,
YES this is exactly how I feel about it :) A lot of tidying up seems utterly pointless and like a lot of extra effort. I like to leave things out untill I am actually completely done with them which means not putting them back at every little break in the process.

I know some people find it more effificent to have things tidy because then they know where things are when they want them and things aren't getting in the way when they are doing something else. Those are valid points, to be sure, yet at least for me I rarely feel as though things are getting in my way, and it is easy enough to push them aside when they are, and although I certainly do loose things, most of the time I know where they are amid the various piles and prefer having them close to hand rather than tucked away somewhere 'out of the way'.

I seem to be good at coming up with organizational systems, and even do it compulsively when I'm bored or procrastinating, but maintaining them never seems to work for me. Organizing seems to be a separate process, not part of the process of doing things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
"However, there is a complex method underlying it all--there are piles and they all MEAN something. I know where everything is and it's all within reach and set there to maximize efficiency. I just don't see why I should open and close a drawer 25 times an hour to get something then out it away again, if I could just make its place on top of my desk in the first place"
And
"I seem to be good at coming up with organizational systems, and even do it compulsively when I'm bored or procrastinating, but maintaining them never seems to work for me. Organizing seems to be a separate process, not part of the process of doing things."


I am in the process of trying to decide if I am a J or P and these 2 above fit me perfectly lol.
 

·
Registered
NiTe 549
Joined
·
5,321 Posts
Intuitive J-ness.

My room is the definition of increasing entropy. My mind is very clear.

MBTI J and P are a messy concept. Within that system, they are predicated on the first extraverted function, which doesn't always make sense with an introvert.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Otherwise, I can't organize anything. I don't bother to fold my laundry, preferring to leave it in a pile and dig through it when I need something to wear. I eat off paper plates because I don't like doing dishes. I'm always forgetting things that I meant to bring, including really important things. I don't like it when people tell me how to organize myself. I have my own system for finding things but I couldn't explain it if someone were to ask me what it was. I'm a total mess and it really doesn't bother me.
And see? all this time I was berating myself telling myself I was lazy when I am just being efficient! I appreciate when someone else hangs the laundry and all but few things depress me more than repeater chores (day in day out dirty clean dirty clean) boring boring boring! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
I'm pretty happy that you brought this topic up, actually, because I have been thinking a lot about P vs J and how I was quite thrown off at first by the descriptions of what a P type should be vs a J type. From what I can observe, whether you are a P or a J really rarely translates into how clean your room is or even how decisively you act.
I come from a family of overwhelming judgers- we've got ten people in my immediate family, and out of that only two are Ps. But you would never know it by looking at us, you know what I mean? Both of my P brothers decided quickly on a college major, place to live, future plan, etc. I'm a J who's still muddling about looking like I can't even decide what to order for lunch, let alone what career to choose. And we're all of us pretty more or less messy people by nature- some of the biggest slobs in my family are also the strongest judgers. And they're always running late too. :p But there are definite differences in our approach to things when you've observed all of us for long enough. My P brothers can sort of 'chafe' under a plan, if that makes any sense. They hate being controlled in any way and they sort of hate other people telling them what to do or how to do it. Whereas I love being told what the plan is. :p Honestly, I reach a point (pretty quickly, too) where it stops mattering to me whether or not I'm even following the best plan- I just want there to be a plan, Stan! I guess what I'm saying is that I like to think things out beforehand and go into things with a definite idea of how they're going to be, and in this way I actually think that Js can be greater procrastinators than Ps, if they're lacking in self-confidence. Because I want to know what's going to happen at every turn, I want to predict how this whole thing is going to play out. Whereas my P brothers don't really care. They'll just roll with it.

But we're all of us late all the time. :dry:
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top